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Vegas' Fukuburger comes to Hollywood

September 13, 2011 |  8:00 am

Fuku
Fukuburger, the year-old Las Vegas food truck that set that city's Twitter feed on fire, is opening its first bricks-and-mortar location in Hollywood on Oct. 1. Owners Colin Fukunaga and Robert Magsalin have partnered with restaurateur Harry Morton to get the job done.

By February or March they hope to open a second location in a space they recently secured near Little Tokyo. The idea is to open five to 10 locations in L.A., as well as a few in Las Vegas. The truck will stay in Sin City for now.

To address the elephant in the room: It's pronounced foo-koo, and it means "lucky" in Japanese. But we would be amiss to imply that the Fuku team doesn't have tongue firmly planted in cheek. Especially since the truck's logo includes the catchphrase "Get Lucky."

Things become even more suspect when one discovers that Morton owns Pink Taco. It's a curious little empire he's building, but on the phone after a lengthy business meeting Morton quickly dismisses potential gigglers.

"The brand is very established in Vegas, and most people know how to pronounce it," he says. "Once we've been here awhile the same thing will happen in L.A."

Morton says that the hype surrounding the truck was so powerful that it reached him in L.A. When he had the burger, he was sold.

"They're taking the traditional American burger and giving it a Japanese twist," Morton says. He says the concept is different from Umami Burger in that rather than simply adding umami flavor to the meat, Fukunaga and Magsalin are flavoring the meat with soy, wasabi, yuzu, pickled ginger, rice wine and other traditional Japanese ingredients to create a unique taste experience. They also brush the burgers with a special glaze when they are on the grill.

There are six burgers on Fuku's menu, including an egg burger, a mushroom burger, a "pig" burger and a chicken burger. There will also be a sizable list of beers, wines and sakes.

The dining room will incorporate flat-screen TVs with a live social-media feed. The idea is for the interior to mimic the feel of the truck.

"We saw real potential to build a big brand out of it," Morton says.

Fukuburger, 1634 Cahuenga Blvd., L.A.

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-- Jessica Gelt

Photo credit: Jason Salazar

 

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